Welcome to the Federal Work-Study (FWS) home page for staff and employers.

This page will provide you with all the information you should need to work with financial aid as an employer of CSUN students. You will be able to find information on how the federal work study program operates and on the employment of federal work study students.  Our office is here to assist you, so that you can assist our students.

Who is eligible to become an Authorized FWS employer?

All departments, programs, and research directors who want to hire students with a Federal Work-Study (FWS) award and follow the federal guidelines set by the program are eligible.

If you are a CSUN On or Off Campus Department/Program/Research Director interested in joining, then you are required to send at least one representative to the FWS Employers Workshop. The Workshop provides in depth information on how the FWS program is administered at CSUN and an overview of the federal guidelines governing the program. 

To become an Authorized CSUN FWS Employer email us at, during the month of March, as the Workshop is administered annually at the end of the Spring Semester. In your email provide the name of your College/Department/Program, CSUN issued 5-digit department SOLAR ID and a brief description of the types of jobs you like to offer to students.  Interested Off-campus Employers see the section below for further instructions.

Are there any restrictions to the use of FWS funds to pay student workers?

Yes, there are some restrictions to the use of FWS funds. FWS funds cannot be used to pay students whose job:

  • Replaces a full-time employee's position, regardless of when or why that position was eliminated or otherwise became vacant, including replacing workers on strike.
  • Involves any partisan or nonpartisan political activity associated with a candidate or with a contending faction or group in an election for public or party office.
  • Involves any lobbying on the federal, state or local level. A student cannot work as a political aide for any elected official. Positions also cannot be involved in any partisan or nonpartisan political activity or associated with a faction in an election for public or private office.
  • Involves the construction, operation, or maintenance of so much of any facility as is used or is to be used for sectarian instruction or as a place for religious worship.
  • Cannot be used in positions that primarily benefit members of an organization that has membership limits, such as a credit union, a fraternal or religious order, or a cooperative.

What are the benefits of hiring a FWS Student?

FWS, is one of the types of financial aid that students apply for when they submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Not every student is eligible for FWS! Students must be in enrolled at least part-time and meet Title IV eligibility requirements, award amounts average $4,000 for the academic year; However, the award amount will vary based on the student’s financial need.

If you qualify as an authorized FWS Employer, you will have access to the pool of FWS students actively searching for FWS job opportunities. 

The FWS Program will subsidize 75% of the wages you pay your eligible FWS student workers and requires the Employer to contribute the remaining 25% of each student’s FWS award earnings. Off-Campus Employers are charged an additional 20% overhead fee based on student’s gross earnings to cover the cost of administering the FWS program.

How do I participate?

Please Note due to federal audits, CSUN FWS office does not make exceptions to its procedures. For all approved FWS employers, the following is required to qualify for the employer payroll subsidy:

  • Will need to attend annual FWS Employers workshop held at the end of spring semester. 
  • CSUN departments, will need to submit and renew the Departmental Agreement package annually. Non-CSUN, Off-Campus employers are required to fill out and return an Off-Campus Agreement package to the FWS Office for approval and processing.
  • Create, write and submit job descriptions that compliment and reinforce the student’s educational program or career goals, for each position an employer wants to hire a FWS student.

How can I recruit a FWS student for a job?

Employers will create an Employer account on Handshake to gain access to advertise their Work-Study position vacancies.  Only eligible FWS students will have access to apply to positions identified as “Work-Study” on Handshake.  

Why do I need to submit a Position Description?

The Federal Department of Education requires the position descriptions for all FWS positions be maintained by the FWS office and updated yearly. Job descriptions must follow the CSUN Job Posting Format. A general job description template for your use is available. Email to request your copy.  

What are the FWS Employer’s responsibilities?

Provide clearly defined supervision through well-defined expectations, resources and support:

  • report student employee work hours accurately and monitor student employee’s performance, for quality of work, and verify that all hours reported are accurate (Students are not allowed to work during scheduled class hours.)
  • must take responsibility to keep accurate work records on all FWS students employed; monitor FWS earnings, Timesheets, work schedules and class schedules.
  • if it is known that a student employee will be returning to CSUN in a subsequent year, recommend the student to apply for Federal Aid (FAFSA) early. The application is available annually starting October 1st.

On-Campus/ How to request a Work-Study Department Authorization


*At this point it is assumed that the supervisor has verified that the student has a FWS award by either completing the Student FWS Award Request Form or has a copy of the students financial aid award showing FWS as part of the students aid package.

When a FWS applicant is hired, the department Human Resources (HR) hirer requests the student’s Federal Work-Study Authorization online via myNorthridge Portal Human Resources/Manager page. From the Portal HR Manger page select the Work Study Dept. Authorizations link then follow instructions below:

  • Enter the following

1.    Aid Year – enter the year of that academic’s spring semester
2.    Department – If your department ID does not auto population enter the DEPT ID that the student is will be paid from

    • Click “Add new value”
    • Enter student’s ID number
    • Press enter or click the “Search” button
      • If you receive an error message make sure you have entered the students correct CSUN ID.  If the student ID is correct the student does not have a FWS award.
      • If the student information comes up make sure to look that there is an amount in the “Offered” section of the page. It is located on the upper left side of the page under the department ID number.

3.    Enter the required fields. 

    • Job Category – Pull down and select the best option from the options available.
    • Job Recruitment ID” – This is the number assigned to the job description your submitted on Handshake.
    • Start Date – The student start date must be the date the FWS authorization is being requested or a future date.
    • Hourly Rate – Make sure that the student’s hourly rate is online with the hourly rate of the Handshake FWS job description.
    • Reports to - Make sure that you have on hand the EMPL ID for the supervisor that the FWS student will report to.
    • IRCA Box – If the student showed you his/her copy of the HR Employee sign-in copy then click the IRCA Box. If you sent the student to HR to complete the sign-in process and are waiting for the student to return with proof of his/her sign-in do not click the IRCA Box. Put a note in the comment box section such as “Referred student to HR for payroll sign-in. Will check IRCA Box when student returns with proof.”
    • Click the save button on the lower left side of the page.

4.    Once the FWS authorization has been approved by the FWS Office, hire the student in Workforce Administration in the appropriate FWS job code, and verify that the students funding strip is in 40901.

    • Please note that the FWS Office does not send notices when the authorization has been approved.  It is the department’s responsibility to review the authorization status.
    • The approval status is on the lower-mid section on the page and the FWS award amount will show in the Accepted section of the page on the upper left side of the page.  If the award amount is $0 in the Accepted section and the Status shows as Approved contact the FWS Office at ext. 2373 or send an email to In the body of the email include full name and student ID number.  You will be notified once the issue is solved. Please allow three business days for an authorization to be reviewed for approval.
    • Please allow three business days for an authorization to be reviewed for approval.

Off-Campus Agencies

New Participation Requests

Off-campus agencies interested in participating in the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program must send the Cal State Northridge Federal Work-Study Coordinator, a letter of interest. If funds are available, Northridge offers contracts to off-campus nonprofit organizations during the month of June for the upcoming academic year, which begins in August.

If the FWS Office is able to offer new FWS contracts for the next academic year, prospective off-campus FWS employers must attend the annual Employers Workshop, which is usually scheduled during April or May. It is best, therefore, to submit your letter of interest by March. Your letter must include the following information:

  • Brief description of your nonprofit organization
  • Whether you charge the community for your services
  • Years in existence
  • How your organization is funded
  • Types of jobs available for Northridge work-study students
  • Number of work-study students you'd like to hire (work-study contracts are not offered to those looking to hire only one employee)
  • Contact information: address, phone and email
  • A copy of business profit-and-loss statement
  • Organization brochure, if available

Mail your letter of interest to:

Financial Aid & Scholarship Department
Attn: Diana Medina, Federal Work-Study Coordinator
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8307

Off Campus - Continuing Employers

Continuing employers are required to attend the Off-Campus FWS Annual Employers Workshop.  The FWS Office will send new and continuing employers the meeting date and time via the FWS listserv by the end of March for the next academic year.

Forms and Links

Human Resources Forms

The following forms used in the FWS Program can be found in the A to Z forms HR website.

New Employee Sign: Complete and give this form to your new FWS employee for the HR sign-in process. The HR Sign-In process is for first employment appointment at CSUN or if the student’s previous employment at this campus ended more than 18 months ago.

Prior Pay Period Adjustment Form-Federal Work-Study: Summary to report miscellaneous adjustments to FWS Payroll, including hours from a prior pay period. All transactions submitted on this form must be authorized by the FWS Office. Please forward this form to the FWS Office for approval. FWS Office will forward it to the payroll office.

Student Employee Job Data Change Form: This form is used to document and authorize requests for an additional appointment or change to the current employment status of a student assistant or FWS student. Use this form to increase, reclassify or correct a student’s pay.

Timesheet: Used by student Assistant, Federal Work-Study, and hourly employees to track their hours worked.


Federal Work-Study Off-Campus Budget Request Form
Continuing off-campus or auxiliary employers may use this form to request a Federal Work-Study Program budget, which is required to participate in the work-study program.

Off-Campus Federal Work-Study Student Authorization Request Form
Off-campus employers may use this form to request a new work-study student authorization. Authorizations must be requested prior to the student's first day of work.


Student Salary Schedule

Employers Handshake login

HR Toolkit

Withdrawal policy

Drug-free campus and workplace policy